Preparing high-skill doulas to make a difference.

Jessica English DONA Doula Trainer

Before you make a decision about which doula training to take, you deserve to know how I move in the doula world. So I’m going to lay it all out — here is the heart of what I believe about training up great doulas. It’s my point of view on doula life, you could say.

Is it a match for you? If so, I’ll look forward to seeing you at one of my trainings so I can share everything I’ve learned about this amazing work.


The best decisions you’ll make as a birth professional will be good for you, good for the client, and good for the greater birth community. You. Your clients. Your community. Making choices that score wins in all three areas will lead to a long-term, successful career. Win-win-win. You don’t have to choose just one. You can be financially successful and care deeply about every family you support and your community too. The triple win applies whether you own your own business, work for someone else, or serve low-resource families through a nonprofit. Heart and business go together! That’s what we are all about. 


We love the business side of being a doula, but in order to find long-term success, you need to get some solid skills under your belt. That’s why our trainings are four days long — we believe it’s the minimum that you need to start this work. A day or two of doula training isn’t enough. An online course isn’t enough. We believe in in-depth, hands-on training that will put you on solid footing to wow every single client, right from the start. And when you can impress every client with excellent support, that only adds to the word-of-mouth momentum that will help build your business over many years to come. 


There’s a lot to learn over four days together, and I specialize in creative, fun teaching techniques. We’ll be connecting, moving, engaging and exploring together. We expect our doulas to connect their clients with evidence-based birth information, and the way I run my workshops is also based on evidence-based teaching principles (did you know I also train childbirth educators for Lamaze International?). I work really hard to make this time meaningful for you so that you can remember and directly apply all kinds of skills that can help your clients have great births. Teaching adults is a special skill and I love the challenge of engaging and inspiring doulas to learn and grow so you can make a difference in the world. 


People remember their birth stories for their whole lives! It’s a formative memory and it can impact women’s self-esteem, their confidence, the way they interact with the healthcare system and the bond they have with their babies. Birth matters, and we know that having a doula can improve outcomes for families (fewer interventions, higher satisfaction). Doulas aren’t just a luxury. We’re in the middle of a maternal health crisis. Families aren’t receiving evidence-based care, and in the United States, black women and babies in particular are dying (research tells us that’s because of the effects of systemic racism). Our trainings address the power dynamics that influence birth, whether it’s a woman of color or a transgender person having a baby. We have the potential to change lives, improve maternity care and positively impact lifelong memories. Our doulas lift up their clients to make sure their voices are heard. We also believe in advocating for long-term change in a system that doesn’t always value the autonomy of the person giving birth. These principles are woven into the fabric of our trainings. Until everyone having a baby has access to respectful, evidence-based care, Heart Soul Birth Pros’ mission includes advocating for change.


My highest hope for you (and every doula I train) is that you are a solid, successful birth worker who is making money and still in this field decades after our time together. Money is an energy exchange, and being fairly compensated for your work is an important part of keeping you strong and healthy as a doula. (There's nothing wrong with giving your services as a gift, but most volunteer-only doulas don't last long in this profession.) Whether you’re working for a nonprofit to support low-resource families or focusing on high-income clients, I want you to be able to make a living following your passion. That’s what I’ve been doing myself for the past 13+ years! I spend four hours in every doula training focusing on how you can find clients and build your brand as a doula. That’s unique among doula trainings. You’ll find that most trainers don’t spend that kind of time on business. It’s just as important to me, though, as the time we’ll spend building your skills to support clients. (See? This is why we need four days!) 


I believe in the benefits of certification with DONA International. It gives your legitimacy, opens career opportunities, and helps you build up relationships with midwives, doctors and nurses. There are a lot of organizations out there now, claiming to train and certify childbirth educators. Some of them are legit, and some are pretty iffy (and not likely to stick around). I choose DONA because of its solid foundations as a leader in this field, the care and thought that goes into every decision, and the weight of knowing a large, international nonprofit organization stands behind me with every client interaction. DONA International’s scope of practice tells us that doulas support our clients’ autonomy in making decisions about their birth. Our organization partners with Lamaze International, the American College of Nurse Midwives, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and other respected (and legitimate) maternal health organizations to advocate for changes in policy and our healthcare system. That all matters to me.

WE CAN STAY CONNECTED (because your needs don't end after 4 days).

I was tired of seeing people with so much potential take a doula training and then never quite make it over the hump to launch successful careers. That’s why I created the Heart Soul Birth Pros Doula Mentoring Program. Designed for both new and experienced doulas, the mentoring program gives you 30 minutes on an important topic every month, and then 10 minutes on our group call hotseat to explore exactly what you need for your business (whether that’s brainstorming how to build your business or puzzling through a situation with a client). When you participate in the mentoring program, you also get discounted rates on one-on-one coaching time. If you’re really serious about making it in this field, you don’t have to go it alone.


You will benefit so much from the community of birth professionals we’ve worked to create. From the minute you step foot in one of trainings to five years down the line when you’re long-since certified and need a little support, you’ll have a caring network to help you grow. We help each other with ideas, brainstorming and support. New families need each other too, so we’ll model how you can build connection and community in your local area. That feels so good to everyone and it’s at the heart of what we believe. 


I’m still actively attending births and I run a successful doula agency — Michigan’s first and longest-running doula group, actually. That makes me a better trainer for you. (You can read my bio to learn more about me.) It’s important that you learn from somebody who has their finger on the pulse of what’s happening with families today. Otherwise, you could be missing out on something important! I’ll share everything I know about supporting families, professional ethics, finding and using evidence-based information, and growing a thriving base of clients. The training you’ll take will likely be my best one ever, because I’m always adding, tweaking, changing and growing it to better support my doulas. I pour my heart and soul into every single training, and every single doula. Heart and soul — it’s in our name!